For most blogs, comments are the lifeblood of pageviews. What do pageviews turn into? Ad impressions. That's the business gold behind comments, but there are a lot more benefits including community building, site loyalty, and more. There are many ways to get more comments on your blog, and they are all very easy.
1) Just ask for them. Duh.
Did you ever think to just ask? No seriously. Most of the time it is just that easy.
Try ending your post with, "What do you think? Comment below." Or how about, "Your thoughts? Let me know below."
Those are some of the pretty obvious, more formal (cough, cough boring *cough*) ways to write it. Be more casual and conversational when soliciting for comments. How about, "I can't possibly be the only one that thinks this is crazy, right? Please tell me I'm not the only sane one."
You are phrasing it like a rhetorical question, but it actually makes the reader want to respond to you.
2) Ask a lot of questions.
Throw some specific questions our there to your readers asking them for information. People love to tell you what they know. Hell, that's probably how blogging was invented in the first place. So ask some sincere questions.
You know that post about that horrible restaurant experience you just wrote? First of all, you had better bet that people are going to start finding your post in Google very soon. Writing about restaurants, especially local restaurants that may not get any mainstream press, tend to do well as search terms in Google.
Back to the point...that restaurant review/horror story you just posted. Ask you readers if anyone else has eaten there and experienced the same thing. Ask if you readers have any suggestions for a similar but better restaurant in the area.
Readers love to be brought into the conversation. One way blogs are no fun for anyone.
3) Make it easy.
Nothing is more frustrating to me than having to create an account, decode a secret word, and provide a DNA sample in order to post a quick comment. Make the process as easy as you can.
Most people would be more likely to post a comment on your site if it is quick and easy.
If you are going to make me create another account, another username, and remember another password, then nevermind thanks. It isn't worth it to me. Our brains are filled up enough with usernames, passwords, and other assorted logins as it is.
Spam blocking isn't an excuse anymore. Publishers used to make users create an account in order to verify that they were in fact a real person as opposed to a comment spam bot. Plus, if there was an habitual offender, it makes it easier to block them.
Technology has improved making that a pretty silly excuse.
The Wordpress Akismet plugin has drastically improved over the past couple of years. Give it a try. For the most part, you should be pretty happy. If you must use a captcha type plugin, go easy. Use a good one. Don't skim out. Personally, I think reCAPTCHA is the best one. It is clear, large, and FREE.
4) Don't hold comments for moderation.
If you can possibly avoid it, do not hold posts for moderation. Ideally, just setup your comment system to flag certain phrases or inappropriate words. Those comments can be held for review.
Everything else, let it go. Don't keep those other comments in "Comment Prison" until you have enough free time to screen.
If a user is taking the time to leave you a great comment, it can be a pretty big bummer to find out that the comment may not show up on the site until the next day. The Internet is all about instant gratification.
When a user posts a comment, they want to see it up on your site instantly. They want the rest of the world to see what they have to say. Even better, they want other users to respond to them.
If the user feels like they have to wait around and see if the comment makes the cut, that's the last time they will likely even attempt to post a comment on your site. That user is essentially gone forever.
I know, sometimes it is unavoidable. Get comfortable with the idea of an f-bomb squeaking in there once in a while and you'll be ok. It's not the end of the world.
5) Respond, respond, respond.
It is your job to post comments too! It is critically important that the user sees you actively responding to user comments both in future posts and in the current post. Nothing says you care in the blogging world like responding directly to your readers.
Even if you are not a celebrity, responding to a user comment makes the user feel pretty special.
All of a sudden, you can start to look like the approachable hero just looking for people to chat it up with (in the comments of your site).
Again, if someone took the time to write you a comment, you can certainly take 30 seconds to respond.
So there you have the Top 5 Ways to Get Comments on your blog. Get out there and give it a try. The stuff actually works.